Stewardship Spotlight – Caretakers of the Way
September 18 2019
Caretakers of the Way
Humans leave traces of connection. The British naturalist Robert MacFarlane has written
“that once you begin to notice them, you see that the landscape is still webbed with paths and footpaths …. Pilgrim paths, green roads, drove roads, corpse roads, trods, leys, dykes, drongs, sarns, snickets –say the names of paths out loud and at speed and they become a poem or rite – holloways, bostles, shutes, driftways, lichways, ridings, halterpaths, cartways, carneys, causeways, herepaths.” Robert MacFarlane, The Old Ways, p. 13
Faith too is a path of connection but unless the way is practiced it disappears. Stewardship is the practice that generates and regenerates the path of faith.
Stewardship is less about sharpening our pencils and more about sharpening our tools for trail maintenance, equipping ourselves to be caretakers of the path connecting us to our Creator and guiding our steps.
Robert MacFarlane reports that in the 19th century small sickles were hung on stiles or posts where paths connecting communities began. Walkers would pick up the sickle or hook to lop off branches as they walked. They would then leave the ‘hook’ on the stile or post at the end of the path so a walker going in the opposite direction could do the same. This shared caretaking of the path benefited each individual walker but also the larger community.
The early Christian movement was known internally as well as to its persecutors as the way (Acts 9). The life of faith is a way of being human, a way of interpreting, a way of practicing, a way of living.
As we journey towards the reign of God, we are following in the tracks of others, ways walked by Jesus himself, paths as ancient as Abraham and Sarah. Today we are not just signposts pointing the way but the caretakers, the stewards of that way. Come and join in the way.